All Activities

All Activities

This lesson, a companion to the Drip Drop! music video, explores how climate change impacts the water cycle in the context of media literacy.

Students observe that air under high pressure will move toward a low-pressure area and certain objects in the air’s path may move in the same direction.

Align tree ring cores of different ages to build up a long timeline of past climate data in this hands-on activity.

In this activity, students move chips representing sunlight, heat, and infrared radiation around a series of boards representing Earth and its atmosphere.

Air takes up space. It's only when air in the bottle escapes that more air is easily added!

In this activity, students brainstorm various ways that an uninflated balloon placed over a bottle's opening can be inflated without touching the balloon.

Find out how some wavelengths of light are scattered more than others producing blue skies and red sunsets.

Students observe that a change in the temperature of air can impact the size of a bubble placed on a bottle that is cooled and/or heated.
Are you in a place where snow falls in winter? If so, try catching snowflakes. Then take a close look. Can you find two snowflakes that look alike?

Students match graphs showing aspects of observed climate change with statements that describe the observations.

Elementary students learn about the climate zones of the world by interpreting graphs and identifying climate zones described in postcards.

Students use a deck of cards to model climate variability and longer-term trends in climate.

Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year.

Use jelly beans to compare the compositons (amounts of different gases) of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars and Venus.

Students demonstrate their knowledge of interconnections between natural systems such as weather and climate and the built environment in which they live.

Students analyze and interpret data on a map of floodplains to assess risk of flooding inform decision making that will mitigate the effects of flooding.

Students will observe two scale models of Earth's atmosphere and the layers of the atmosphere to gain an appreciation for the size of the atmosphere compared to the planet Earth.

Students use a model to test actions for staying safe from the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. 

In this graphing activity, students investigate Oxygen-18 data from ice cores used to investigate past climate.

Students learn about the urban heat island effect by investigating which areas of their schoolyard have higher temperatures. Then they analyze data about how the number of heat waves in an urban area has increased over time with population.

IntroductionIn this activity, students gather information about atmospheric scientific field projects in order to understand how a research question about the Earth system can be answered by collecting data using many different research platforms and instruments.

Students test the hypothesis that a 100-year flood happens once every hundred years, learning how the probability of a flood does not mean that floods happen at regular intervals.

Students review graphs and charts of severe weather data then answer "True and False" questions about the content conveyed.

Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century.

Graph the extent of sea ice, over months and years, in the Arctic and Antarctic. Learn about the seasons and long-term trends.

This Greenhouse Gas Game enables students to interact with each other as they learn about the heat trapping properties of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They learn that human actions are altering the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Teams explore how long it takes to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker based on human activity, with the winner taking the longest to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker.

In this activity, students identify the location of an atmospheric river over the Pacific (also called the Pineapple Express) by analyzing water vapor data collected by COSMIC satellites.

Students investigate maps and data to learn where and when hurricanes form and how climate change may be affecting them.

On May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado occurred in Moore, Oklahoma. How did the people of Moore work to rebuild their community?

Students investigate three decades of tornado data through an interactive Story Map from Esri.

Students research the 2013 Colorado floods, present the information they find, and summarize all information presented.

This hands-on inquiry activity alows students to explore how the color of materials that cover the Earth affects the amounts of sunlight it absorbs using a simple model.

Students explore factors that influence why certain areas in the United States have more tornadoes than others and observe a model to visualize what is happening during a tornado.

Students observe how different materials bend light, and how we can infer the nature of the material based on the amount it bends light rays.

Students make a model of glacier motion and then design an experiment to figure out what affects the speed of a glacier.

Students create and investigate a physical model to explore how the resolution of a mathematical model impacts model results.

In this demonstration, students observe how temperature changes can create a weather front, in particular how the mixing of warm and cold air can produce thunderstorms.

In this activity, students use models to observe that air is a fluid that flows due to temperature-driven density differences.

In this hands-on activity, students explore how temperature affects the behavior of air molecules.

Students learn how to crush a can with only air pressure.

Students examine "pollen" in simulated lake bottom sediment core samples to infer past climate in the vicinity of the lake.

Students learn that when light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and frequency (color) of the light.

IntroductionStudents use iron filings to explore the magnetic field around a magnet and record their observations. Next, students apply their experience with the magnet to understand the magnetic field around Earth. Following their investigation, students summarize their findings.

Students analyze the energy consumption of a household appliance and estimate the amount of carbon dioxide it is adding to the atmosphere each year.

Use plungers to create a vacuum and learn about how air exerts pressure.

Using language arts, math, and measurement skills, elementary students explore rainfall data and learn how to measure precipitation through an interactive story. 

Students use a simple model to explore how roof colors can impact the temperature of an urban area.

IntroductionStudents investigate a physical model to explore how satellite data impacts weather monitoring and forecasting.

In this activity, students will analyze data sets that show how carbon dioxide varies through the atmosphere at different latitudes, altitudes, and different times of year.

Systems thinking is an important concept across the Earth sciences. In this game, students either are a part of a system or serve as scientists tasked with observing and making sense of the system moving in front of them.

Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century.

Students investigate how thermal expansion of seawater impacts sea level.

Students review what scientists know and what they’re working to understand about the relationship between extreme weather events and climate change.

Students read news articles about Hurricane Irene, present information with classmates, and construct a timeline to describe the hurricane’s story over time and across geographic area, exploring what happened, how people were affected, and how they reacted.

Learn about Bernoulli's Principle with hair dryers and ping pong balls!

In this computer-based virtual lab, students will learn about the layers of Earth's atmosphere by launching virtual balloons to collect temperature and pressure data at various altitudes. Given a limited number of balloon flights, students must plan carefully to gather data that generates a good "picture" of the atmosphere’s structure.

In this activity, students will build a model to simulate parts of the water cycle. They will be able to recognize and explain the essential elements of the water cycle.

Students create and observe wavelengths at both high and low energy levels using safety glasses, rope, and a power drill.

Students explore the relationship between weather and climate by graphing weather temperature data and comparing with climate averages.

In this activity, students will observe that a change in the temperature of air will determine its place in the atmosphere. Water, which behaves very similarly to air, is used in this demonstration. It flows in fluid currents in a visual manner in a see-through density tank.

In this activity, students will compare stories about a weather event from different media sources and different perspectives.

IntroductionIn this activity, students will play the roles of various atoms and molecules to help them better understand the formation and destruction of ozone in the stratosphere.

A collection of educational resources about the science of winter weather for primary grade students.